Chapter 758.
Sequence 2

-Noona, where did you go? I asked the writer and she said you left as soon as the live broadcast ended.
I’m in front of the KBS building.

“I left first because I had something to do.
I don’t have any schedule today anyway, do I?”

-You don’t.
But where did you go? I was planning to bring you to the company and pick Mr.
Yongjin up.

“I’m fine, so you can go over to him.”

I’ll call you when it’s time for the next schedule.
Thanks for your work today.

“Yeah, you too.”

Gaeul spat out a short breath and loosened her hand.
She hadn’t made a visit to Daehak-ro in a while, but nothing had changed here.
The vitality of youth filled the streets, and the artistic beauty grabbed people’s attention.
The occasional street stalls were selling hot dogs or waffles, which were the specialties of Daehak-ro, and the people passing by all bought something from the stalls as though they were enchanted.
The people walking on the streets were filled with leisure.
Sometimes, people were hurrying as though they mistook the starting times, but even they had a hint of joy.
Although the weather was hot, the streets of Daehak-ro did not get tired out.
It felt like the heat was a driving force.

Gaeul opened the camera app and took photos around her.
It wasn’t that there was a specific building or a person she wanted to take photos of.
She just wanted to record the fact that she was here.

“Isn’t she Han Gaeul?”

“No way.
I’m sure it’s someone who looks like her.”

“I think it’s her.
Try talking to her.”

“I said she’s not.”

Gaeul heard other people talking about her.
She took a couple more photos before blatantly walking over to the two women.
The two women, who were arguing in whispers to each other about how she is or isn’t Han Gaeul eventually turned around, saying that she wasn’t.

After the two left, Gaeul pressed her cap down even more.
She also tied her hair.
When her wavy hair was tied, it became messy like a brush, but she didn’t care.
This ‘messy’ looking side of hers would erase the ‘Actress Han Gaeul’ impression.
The horn-rimmed glasses also played a role in that.
The thick frames blurred her impression on others.

What made celebrities look like one was their confident attitude, their clothing, and makeup.
Through a few experiences, Gaeul found out that people would not recognize her if she put on comfortable clothing, erased her makeup, and walked while looking at the ground.
Though, some quick-witted people still approached her and asked her about it.

“Err, you are Han Gaeul, right?”

Gaeul nodded to the man right in front of her.
The man knew respect and had apologized first for interrupting her before asking for a photo.
Gaeul gladly accepted.
There was probably no one among celebrities who would act coldly towards a fan who was being considerate.

“I’m listening to the radio.
I also enjoyed the drama.”

“Thank you.”

“I wish you luck with your work.”

After shaking hands with her, the man turned around with a faint smile.
He called someone while walking away cheerfully; he was probably boasting to his friends.
Hey, I just saw Han Gaeul – or something along those lines.

Sometimes, she would get caught and a fan would demand a photo and an autograph.
Whenever that happened, she would only think of one thing: what did she need to do in order to not catch people’s attention? Through trial and error she found out that sunglasses or masks that covered her face would instead stimulate people’s imaginations and attract attention to herself, and based on that, she found a shabby-looking baseball cap and a pair of black rims for glasses frames.
People weren’t able to detect if someone was an actress if that person looked similar to them.

“One hotdog please.”

She paid money and picked up a hotdog wrapped in oil paper.
She was thinking about how she needed to add an extra 30 minutes to the treadmill today.
Calories had to be a unit of flavor.
While tasting the strong flavor of the sauce in her mouth, she returned to her car.
She got into her small car and ate the hotdog in a daze.
In front of her, she saw a couple walking with tickets in their hands.
The woman was holding some cotton candy as well.
She handed the cotton candy to the man to eat.
After seeing the couple playing around, Gaeul stuffed the rest of the hotdog in her mouth.
The sauce seemed to have lumped up at the end as an intense salty flavor assaulted her tongue at once.

Before she started her car, she picked up her phone first.
She long-pressed two and waited.
A name appeared on the screen, indicating that she was calling someone: Myunghwa High, Choi Seol.

“Where are you?”

-Of course I’m at home.
I can’t go outside and play around on a golden weekend like this.

“Then should I go over?”

-Don’t come empty-handed and bring a lot of things.
It’s punishment for not visiting my house when I moved.
Oh, and no toilet rolls or cooking oil.
I have lots of those.

“Why don’t you just tell me what you need? I can just buy that.”

-Then, a fridge?

“You can’t be serious.”

-Let me benefit from having a celebrity friend.

“Then I’ll really buy a brand new one, okay?”

Gaeul said that there was a department store not far from her.

-Please take it as a joke.
Girl, you don’t know how scary money is after you earned so much.
Just a five-pack ramyun, beer, and some snacks should do.
Oh! And some cat food, expensive bands if possible.

“Oh right.
You were raising a cat, weren’t you?”

Gaeul put her phone between her cheek and shoulder and started the car.
She searched for a nearby mall and drove off.

“I’ll buy them before I go.”

-I’ll be waiting.
Woofie, say hi to unni~

She could hear an annoyed cat growling from the other side.
Perhaps the cat was expressing her resistance towards the owner for having received a name that denied her very species.
Gaeul organized the list of items she had to buy as she drove toward the mall.

She turned on the music and opened the window.
The hot air soon cooled down when she started driving fast.
She untied her hair and brushed it with her hand.
The mix of music and wind created a chaotic noise.
It was just like how her heart was right now.

Her head, which had maintained its calm until now, brought the scene she had seen just a while ago in front of her eyes.
The stage that Maru was standing on overlapped with the scenery of the street.
Maru, who walked around on the stage with his comedic act, seemed like his acting had reached perfection instead of just being proficient.
He was the axis of the stage.
He was at the center of the well-structured acting of the actors.

She couldn’t believe that that was the acting skill of an actor who was only 25.
The audience’s gaze was glued to his fingertips, and every word from his mouth made them smile.

Maru didn’t seem to be bringing bliss to just the audience; he was bringing it to the actors on stage as well.
Any actor would have felt impatient from seeing that stage.
There was a sense of excitement that just couldn’t be satiated as a viewer.

Gaeul stopped thinking.
If she let her thoughts run amok, her memories would go beyond the stage and arrive 3 years ago around this time of the year.
That day was pretty hot as well, though, her tears were hotter than the weather that day.
Let’s stop now – the voice that was still vivid after all this time stuck around her whole body.

“I enjoyed the performance.
Congratulations, Han Maru.”

Those small words dissipated into the wind.
She wanted to say that to his face, but she ended up quietly leaving the theater.
It wasn’t because of the shame of a woman who was notified of the breakup first.
It also wasn’t because she was worried that she might look like she had regrets.
It was because Maru looked closer than she thought.
There was no sense of psychological distance.
She felt like they would become friends again like before if she talked to him.
That sense of kinship was what made Gaeul flinch back like she had touched fire.
It felt like doing so would return her to the past; a time when they were smiling and laughing together and reaffirming each other of their love was something natural.

She parked her car in the parking lot.
Just as she was about to get out of her car without hesitation, she saw her face in the rearview mirror.
She immediately put on her cap and her glasses.
She had to hide traces of the actress Han Gaeul.

Expecting to look like an ordinary salary woman in her twenties buying groceries, she entered the mall.
She was wondering what kind of items she should before a visit to someone else’s house, but she eventually picked up everything that caught her eyes, with the exception of toilet rolls and cooking oil.

She had bought some food ingredients to spend a good Saturday night as well as some gifts before going up to the 3rd floor.
In the corner of the floor, where household electronics were being sold, there was a place that sold pet items.
There were dogs and cats sleeping on the other side of the plastic wall.
When she walked over, they perked up their ears and scratched the wall.

Maybe I should raise one – such a thought passed by in her mind.
She stared at them for a long while with her face against the wall but eventually shook her head.
She was already raising one.
She was raising a coy rabbit that didn’t need food.
A rabbit that she could see anywhere if she so wished.

She bought some pet food according to the employee’s recommendations.
The pet food was even more expensive than human food.
She thought about Seol’s cat, which had three spots on her forehead, wondering if she would like it.

She put the items in a box and loaded them in the back seat of her car before leaving the mall.
She sped up towards Oksu-dong where Seol had moved to.

“I’ve arrived in front of your house.”

-If you’re here, you should come up.
Why did you call me?

“I bought too much.
Come down.”

-I told you to hold back.
Oh well, I guess it’s a good thing.
Wait a sec, I’ll be right there.

She put down two boxes in front of her car and waited.
A moment later, Choi Seol pushed open the glass entrance to the apartment and came out.

“You bought a lot.”

“A certain someone told me to bring stuff.”

“That’s my Gaeul, so obedient.
Anyway, let’s go inside.
It’s hot out here.”

Until the sign inside the elevator reached 13, Choi Seol had continually been chatting.
Gaeul chuckled, thinking that the tomboy Seol had become chatty tomboy Seol after starting to work.
Three months ago, Seol consulted her about a guy she had a crush on in the same workplace.
Unlike her resolve to become a campus couple that she mentioned during high school graduation, Seol ended up living a rather plain college life before graduating.
This girl, who said that men only saw her as a friend and that she would never become hung up on love again, ended up talking about love as soon as she got a job.
Gaeul kindly offered her some advice.
It was good to get close, but it was a big problem for the other person to think of her as a member of the same sex.
Seol boldly said that she would be clear this time.
Right now though, she had become best buddies with that person.
What was even more saddening was that Seol ended up introducing that man to another girl.
Ever since then, she said something about becoming a prim girl, but from the looks of her today, Gaeul instantly realized that wasn’t going to happen.

“I almost splashed coffee in his face.”

The story about how she talked bad about her team leader ended with the opening of the front door.
Gaeul found a cat observing her the moment she entered the house.

“Woofie has grown a lot.”

“She’s a total mistress right now.
Come on in.”

She took her shoes off and went inside.
The living room was pretty large for one person to be living by herself.
There was no furniture either, making it look even roomier.

“Isn’t it too desolate in here?”

“You know I hate things looking messy.
What would you like to drink? Coffee? Juice?”

“How about this?”

Gaeul took out a pack of canned beer from the box.
Choi Seol snapped her fingers and said ‘great’.

“Sit down for a while.
I’ll get some snacks ready.
You can play with Woofie in the meantime.”

“Would she play with me?”

“She’s not shy around strangers, so try reaching your hand out to her.”

Gaeul took out some of the cat food she bought and put it in her hand before reaching out to the cat.
The cat, which was watching in front of the bedroom, yawned and turned around.
I’m not interested, so go away – she seemed to be saying.

“She’s a proud one.”

“She’s a proud one alright.”

Choi Seol soon came to the living room.
She brought canned snails and canned fruits.
Seeing the two cans on a tray, Gaeul sighed.

“What is it?”

“Gee, you and I are just….”

Gaeul took out the snacks she bought from the mall.
They were canned snails and canned fruits.

“Let’s just order some food after we eat them.”

Choi Seol arrived at a clear conclusion and then smirked with a can of beer in her hands.
Gaeul looked at the canned beer in her hands with anxiety.
The slight movement of her hands as well as that look in her eyes – she could tell what Seol was up to.

“Don’t shake it.
This is your own house.”

“I can just clean it up later.”

Her friend, who had pent-up work stress, started shaking the can like mad saying that she would only calm down with an explosion.
Gaeul had no choice but to say the words that would paralyze her actions entirely.

“You won’t get a boyfriend like that.”

Tap – the can fell out of her hands.

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